Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not-so-liveblog of the Worcester School Committee retreat: #2

2. School Committee and Superintendent (referenced here as CEO and Board) are interdependent (reference here to “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”): Board has “ownership” and Superintendent has “professional management”. Board has been elected to “always speak your truth…and vote your conscience”…strong and independent ideas must be given up once board has decided otherwise…must support decision as voted. Analogy made to Green Bay Packers board, who hire the coach but on game day are not on the sidelines (he says that would look like the Detroit Lions)...line between setting overall policy and running day-to-day..Jack Foley is saying we need to look for consensus…pull back rather than have a 3-4 vote…recommendation from presenter to “take the time” if possible…Mary Mullaney says that “because the meetings are televised, things could be constrained…there’s often been informal discussions before the item coming on the” agenda for a vote…”take the pulse” of the School Committee..discussion happening in subcommittee…”I was a little uncomfortable” with supporting a decision that has been made with which she disagrees..presenter says you don’t have to agree with an issue to support a decision…Mullaney disagrees, saying she can think of times that wouldn’t be true. Presenter says”have to make the relationships work”…”chaos in the board meetings is chaos in the classrooms” “Politics as blood sport has no place in this relationship” Foley “I think a 4-3 vote is a loss for the School Committee…how can we reach a compromise, how can we come to consensus” Hargrove: “I don’t know how you separate the polical from what is best for the little ones”…”my whole belief system doesn’t match up with the whole polical thing that goes on” Mayor: to make decisions requires disagreement…would not take back those votes…a 4-3 vote, in itself, is not something to be avoided…difficult to see beyond” the current time. “constrained by the charter, our political and philosophical beliefs…personal grudges feared more than anything else” (she references here the superintendent’s search)…Foley is quick is say that he wasn’t thinking that…Mayor suggests that holding a vote (like the City Council can) for a week could work, maybe a rule change…some conversation around lining up a majority vote over time…Bogigian asks “how much do we owe the electorate when they email or call”…when he gets a lot of contact on an issue, he feels he must do something about it…”have a little bit of consensus with the public”

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